I, like the Americans the narrator refers to, always thought of prostitution and brothels in Asia to be like the documentaries you see on PBS where they show 3 and 4 year old girls out on the street. This book gives a different version, one in which grown women choose prostitution as a means to support family much like in America but also because it is something they want to do, not forced in to. It was a way for women to be empowered in a male dominated world.
The way it ended though, I mean wow! I did not see that coming. Well not necessarily the ending, but rather the 'who' and the 'why' behind the murder. It is a good read. Feb 18, Linda Lombardi rated it did not like it. I seem to be cursed in a peculiar way. When I was younger, whenever I read a book and liked it, I would immediately read all the other books by the same author. And I always liked them, as far as I remember, which is why I kept doing it.
Now whenever I read a book and like it and immediately read another book by the same author, it is disappointing.
I don't know how this keeps happening. How am I accidentally always reading the author's best book? Because they have one good book, I just didn't read that one first?
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Anyway, I dunno, but as for this book Jun 18, Jim rated it it was amazing. Sonchai Jipleecheep is at it again. When reading this book, one is not dipped, but steeped into Thailand. Detective S.
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Enough to re-read it. This book is hilarious. So much dry humor that I know I missed in the other book because I was so involved with trying to understand the culture and the main character. Jun 17, Zenny Dahl rated it it was amazing. Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is back in the second book of the series to investigate the grisly murder of a CIA operative.
I enjoyed the cadence of the book and following Sonchai around Thailand. Apr 27, Julie rated it liked it Shelves: mystery. This was a second read for me and I liked it less than before. While there are aspects that are fascinating--the depiction of Thai culture say--I worry that a white American is perhaps not the best source for this information. I found myself distracted by this concern--it's that foreign exoticism, I guess. But I do like the main character. Anyway, mixed response, as you can see. Nov 29, Margie rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery , series.
I liked this a bit less than Bangkok 8, mostly because I got tired of being called farang the Thai equivalent of "gringo". Still a good story, though. Dec 29, Jake rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery-thriller. Will Leitch is one of my favorite writers. All year long, he has grappled with is love for the Wes Anderson movie Isle of Dogs , which is set in Japan and has many references to famed director Akira Kurosawa but whose characters are voiced mostly by white people. The movie has been deemed accurately in my estimation to be culturally appropriated.
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No Will Leitch is one of my favorite writers. John Burdett is a Brit. His perspective is British. His view of the east, no matter how informed and nuanced, is from the western gaze. His characterization of Thai folk and culture, no matter how well done, is appropriation at the highest level. But so help me, I do. Burdett captures the weird, rambling voice of Sonchai Jiptlecheep, a devoutly Buddhist biracial Bangkok police detective, in a fascinating way. As he meanders his way through the streets of Bangkok, the rural areas of Thailand and other locales in search of the perpetrator of a bizarre murder, while musing about Buddhism, sex, and culture along the way, I find myself being more and more drawn in.
I wish this series was written by a Thai person. But I take them anyway. Because his books are damn good. Oct 18, Zack Becker rated it it was amazing. A terrific read, and a page turner. Bangkok Tattoo is shorter than Bangkok 8, but benefits by more succinct writing. Burdett has eased up on the supernaturalism though not entirely and gets the Buddhist theology a little better, which makes for a more enjoyable read. View 2 comments.
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Oct 22, Toni Osborne rated it liked it. Book 2 in the Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep mystery series This sequel to "Bangkok 8" has all the elements necessary to take the readers on a precarious ride through the sweltering hot and sticky streets that form the flamboyant underbelly of one of Asia's most lively cities The mystery is told in the riveting voice of detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a product of mixed parentage with Buddhist beliefs, a good cop by day and a papasan in the family brothel by night.
The story opens w Book 2 in the Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep mystery series This sequel to "Bangkok 8" has all the elements necessary to take the readers on a precarious ride through the sweltering hot and sticky streets that form the flamboyant underbelly of one of Asia's most lively cities Chanya a popular and important asset to the club quickly becomes the prime suspect. Colonel Vikorn decides with the help of Sonchai to construct a cover-up to portray Chanya as a victim acting in self- defence Sonchai always the professional at heart, feels something is not right and the suspense escalates.
Sonchai's investigation introduces us to prostitutes, katoyes Lady Boys sex tourists and very murky characters that roam the streets of Bangkok's notorious District 8. The action eventually takes us even deeper into the heart of Thailand, revealing a possible connection to Al-Qaeda, added to the saga is a mix of rogue CIA agents and drug dealers. A tattoo artist fleeing the Japanese mafia and a turf war between Vikorn and an army general heightens the intensity even further. Definitely not a novel for the faint at heart, there is brutality and sexuality throughout and Bangkok's sleazy side is rather exploited to its maximum.
I am looking forward to its sequel " Bangkok Haunts", but this time I will wait awhile before reading it May 29, Rob Kitchin rated it liked it. For me, Bangkok Tattoo was a book of two halves. The first half was interesting and entertaining, immersing the reader in the sights and sounds of the seedier side of Bangkok. The story raced along and had plenty of intrigue and twists and turns. In the second half the story unravelled and lost focus and direction. The main plotline of the first half petered out and another thread came to dominate, and the story resorted more and more to show rather than tell, and less and less plausible.
The en For me, Bangkok Tattoo was a book of two halves. The ending redeemed things a little, but it still felt a little flat and relied on Jitpleecheep forgetting that he had a vital piece of evidence in his possession. In general, the characterisation is good, and Sonchai Jitpleecheep makes for an interesting central character, caught as he is between the worlds of the police and Bangkok nightlife, and American and Thai society, and the most of the other characters are colourful and engaging.
The exception is the Americans who are stereotypical, dull and by the numbers military types. The observations of Thai society are informative, though I was somewhat dubious as to how prostitution, and lives and attitudes of the women who practice it, are portrayed. After so much promise in the first half, it was a shame that the story fizzled out in the second. Jul 20, Arie rated it it was ok Shelves: hiatus.
I immediately started this book following finishing Bangkok 8, which I found just short of brilliant. I'm sure Bangkok Tattoo is great, but at this point I cannot finish reading the book at this time. The narrative style of Bangkok Tattoo, while still first person like Bangkok 8, now constantly breaches the 4th wall, and is so jarringly different from the first book I cannot right now.
Yes, I will continue reading at some point, but I need some time apart from detective Sonchai. The strangest pa I immediately started this book following finishing Bangkok 8, which I found just short of brilliant. The strangest part of the differences is the change in Sonchai's character. In book 1, he was a modest Buddhist, straight laced cop. Now, he seems to be a bit full of himself, this may be because of the change in his lifestyle the secondary job at his mother's brother , more respect from his police Colonel, and his interactions with the American FBI agents in book 1.
All of these reasons could come together for the shift in narrative and an increased confidence and arrogance in Sonchai, but it doesn't do anything to make him a likable Narrator, which is why at this point, I'm setting the book down. Aug 16, Warren Olson rated it liked it.
Burdett is a great wordsmith ; and taking on a 'hero' - Sonchai, who is a Thai detective is a bold step. I doubt even a Thai writer could fully understand the epistemology of a middle class Thai detective who apparently deals comfortably with those from elite superintendants to lowly bar girls. Burdett makes a fair fist of it ; but especially to those who have spent rather more time than he in outback Thailand, and perhaps understand the culture and language of the Kingdom a little better, there Burdett is a great wordsmith ; and taking on a 'hero' - Sonchai, who is a Thai detective is a bold step.
Burdett makes a fair fist of it ; but especially to those who have spent rather more time than he in outback Thailand, and perhaps understand the culture and language of the Kingdom a little better, there are flaws in 'Sonchais' apparent views of things from the Thai perspective. Apr 05, Christy rated it really liked it Shelves: asian-setting. I finished Bangkok 8 last week and loved it so much, I immediately went out and got Bangkok Tattoo.
I did read the reviews on here before starting though, and was warned in advance that the whole "farang" kind of talking-down-to business was quickly tiresome, but I thought that people were probably exaggerating. Within the first 10 pages, I completely agreed. I kept on, however, on the strength of Bangkok 8. This second book was also really good. Not as great as the first, but still really good. Burdett surprised me again with his ability to completely surprise me at the end of the book.
Nevertheless, I was irritated enough that I won't be reading the third book. I'd recommend reading the second book because the story itself is good, but with a strong dose of tolerance. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About John Burdett. John Burdett. John Burdett is a novelist and former lawyer. Other books in the series. Sonchai Jitpleecheep 6 books. Books by John Burdett. Trivia About Bangkok Tattoo S The joy of beautiful writing, characters that grip your soul, and a beguiling story told against the sorrow of a magnificent people making their way in a world besieged by corruption and chaos.
Beautiful, scary, and heartbreaking all at once. Read it and weep. Read An Excerpt. Paperback —. Add to Cart.
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About For the Dead After seven years in Bangkok, American travel writer Poke Rafferty finally feels settled: his family is about to grow larger, and his adopted Thai daughter, Miaow, seems to have settled in at junior high school. Also in A Poke Rafferty Novel. Also by Timothy Hallinan. See all books by Timothy Hallinan. Ten great books set in London. Ten great book set in Rome. Ten great book set in Berlin. Ten great books set in Russia.
Ten great books set in Spain. Ten great books set in Amsterdam. Five great books set in Naples. Five great books set in Dublin. Five great books set in Dubai. Five great books set in Portugal. Five great books set in San Francisco. Subscribe to future blog posts. Blood in the Water This is a nicely produced book to hold in In this novel once Tiger by Polly Clark, novel set in Siberia.
Polly Clark weaves together four different narratives in this powerful and About Us. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. It is interesting that you managed to pick ten books set in Thailand and none of them are by Thai people.